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Farmers Paying for Clark's Isolationist Policies

Farmers Paying for Clark's Isolationist Policies

Tuesday, August 14 2001
Owen Jennings Press Releases -- Rural

The United States' continued refusal to remove illegal tariffs against New Zealand lamb exposes deep-seated problems in our isolationist foreign affairs and trade relationship with the US. ACT Rural Affairs and Trade Negotiations Spokesman Owen Jennings said today.

"Despite a clear ruling from the WTO that US protection applied to their own lamb producers was illegal and should be removed, the US has left them in place.

"This is costing the NZ lamb exporters $20m per year. Had we maintained a responsible and close relationship with the US as an ally, our Government would be in a much stronger bargaining position. The fact that the United States is comfortable ignoring our plight indicates that New Zealand is being frozen out of its former warm working relationship.

"This is not the only indication that Helen Clark's irresponsible, isolationist approach on defence and foreign affairs is costing us. Australia and the US are seeking to negotiate an improved bilateral trading arrangement that deliberately excludes NZ: this is further evidence that Helen Clark's isolationist policy is an expensive one.

"NZ lamb producers will be alarmed to learn of the Government's low-key approach on this issue. They deserve the full support of the Government," Owen Jennings said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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